As an animal lover, I am especially fond of dogs. Dogs make this world a better place, displaying unconditional love and loyalty beyond measure. Yeah, dogs are great! But do I want a dog? Do I want the responsibility of maintaining her health, tolerating high maintenanced chewing frenzies, squeaking toys when I’m trying to write, barking just when I finally fall asleep after staring at the ceiling for hours? Um, no thank you.
Unless it’s a golden retriever.
Goldens have been the exception since childhood, when we had a golden named, Rusty. Since I left home in 1992, I have wanted my own golden. December 5, 2010, I adopted 9 week old, Jireh (means “the Lord Provides”), who has (along with my cat) become my closest companion. Jireh is my buddy, and taking care of her is a labor of love – I don’t mind because the ‘sacrifices’ are minimal compared to how much Jireh enriches my life. Goldens are unique in that they are gentle, beautiful, playful dogs, making them more of a friend than a pet.
I explained this to Jennifer this morning when she challenged my statement about me not liking people. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just I’d rather be alone than socialize with others. I have a few exceptions (Sherry, Rob, Jennifer…) who are like goldens – yes, my friendships with them require energy, investments, and even sacrifices, but it’s worth it. They each enhance my life in ways which that me a better person. And my love for them makes it second nature to be there when they are hurting or need me, and even pester them when they don’t! Our friendships are golden… and we all need goldens in our lives.
*Per request of another 'golden' person in my life, I will add German Shepherds to the exception with dogs.